By Moira Khouri NC MH HHP CCP YT
INTRO TO UTKATASANA - CHAIR POSE
I love Utkatasana for the playfulness I can engage in that shifts my focus from the burn in my thighs to the lightness and joy of just being in yoga. I have noticed pained expressions on students faces as they try to hold the asana and end up holding their breath instead, which stresses the body and mind, undoing or blocking the lovely yoga energy we create.
For an energizing warming asana, sit low pressing your thigh muscles and knees together, engage your core muscles. Draw your tailbone downward to take the curve out of your lumbar spine and protect against injury. Draw your shoulders up and onto your back, chin tucked in. Engage the arms in a moving flow. Exhale fully, inhale as you float your arms out and up overhead, bring your hands together in the gracefully Angeli Mudra, slowly lower your arms to your sides or hands to your heart. To intensify the pose, lift one foot, slowly wrapping it around the lower standing leg and holding. Hold the asana while being mindful to continue breathing fully.
UTKATASANA challenges practitioners to trust in themselves, their strengths, and their ability to focus on the alignments, balance, and breathwork that come into play in standing poses. Utkatasana builds muscle, confidence, courage and strength.
This pose is quite warming, and focuses on strength in the abdominal and thigh muscles, and the mind. It also engages the muscles of the arms and legs while stimulating both the diaphragm and the heart for improved circulation of blood and nutrients throughout the body.
Asana Paintbrush Artwork by Charlotte Bradley
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